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Survivances: Translating Cultural Memory in Quebec


Survivances: Translating Cultural Memory in Quebec

Ruschiensky, Carmen (2022) Survivances: Translating Cultural Memory in Quebec. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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My research integrates three fields—translation studies, memory studies and Quebec studies—to study translation and cultural memory in the Quebec context. Focusing on intersections of national, migrant and Indigenous memory, it seeks to elucidate the role that translation plays in the construction and circulation of cultural memory across languages, cultures and affiliations. It proposes three angles of analysis, each of which focuses on a different facet of memory and translation. The first, TRANSLATION AS REWRITING, examines Michèle Lalonde’s 1968 Quiet-Revolution-era poem “Speak White,” situating it as a site of national memory and identity and tracing its afterlives in intra- and interlingual translations and adaptations. The second, TRANSLATION AS COUNTER-MEMORY, focuses on the 1970s counter-cultural periodical Mainmise to examine collective memory as a translational phenomenon based on re-identification and retemporalization—the construction of alternative collective references through cultural borrowing and transfer. The third, TRANSLATION AS RECLAMATION, explores the role that translators play in reclaiming and transmitting cultural memory through different forms of linguistic and cultural (self) translation, focusing on the works and trajectories of Cree-Algonquin writer Bernard Assiniwi and Innu poet Joséphine Bacon. Issues surrounding language, memory and identity have been abundantly explored in Quebec from historical, sociological and literary perspectives. This thesis approaches these questions from a slightly different angle by shifting the focus squarely onto translation as both a vehicle of memory and memory process in itself. Any discussion of translation and memory inevitably evokes notions of fidelity to or affinity with an originating source, be it a symbol, text or artefact, a story, performance or event, a place, individual or community. Confronted with change, alterity or trauma, these sources can be undermined, assimilated or even erased, but they can also be renewed, transposed and liberated into new forms, giving rise to different resolutions along a continuum of similarity and difference, of continuity through transformation. Through an examination of key literary works and other sites of memory-encounter and cultural production, this thesis sheds light on moments or instances of identitary crisis, rupture and unfolding that highlight the translational, emergent nature of meaning, memory and identity and foreground the diverse and complex ways that their survivance is assured by the very act of their transformation.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Ruschiensky, Carmen
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:November 2022
Thesis Supervisor(s):Simon, Sherry and Warren, Jean-Philippe and High, Steven
Keywords:translation, cultural memory, Quebec, cultural history
ID Code:991506
Deposited By: Carmen Ruschiensky
Deposited On:21 Jun 2023 14:16
Last Modified:21 Jun 2023 14:16
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